Justin Jachimiec, also known to Cook County prosecutors as the "Orland Ghost Rider," was convicted in McDonough County court last week of underage drinking but acquitted on charges of felony fleeing and eluding police.
His sentence included 120 days in jail with orders from a McDonough County judge to complete mental health treatment and find a job.
In November 2010, Jachimiec was arrested in Macomb, Ill., and later indicted for criminal damage to property, unlawful consumption and three counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding.
McDonough County prosecutors alleged that Jachimiec ignored the wailing colored lights in his mirror and sped through stop signs and stop lights and down a wrong-way street at 95 mph. According to the indictment, he drove his Chevy Cavalier into a fence, causing more than $300 in damage, to lose authorities.
But without eyewitness testimony, the state could not prove that Jachimiec had been behind the wheel. Although he was carrying his keys at the time of his arrest, police found him outside the car, kneeling in brush. He told officers he had been coming from a friend's nearby house and stopped to see what all the commotion was about.
“They could definitely tie the car to him, there was no question about that,” John Carter, McDonough County public defender, said. “But it boiled down to whether he was operating the car."
“It’s a relatively simple issue,” Carter added, one in which the jury came back and told the state: “We needed more than what you gave us.”
Jachimiec’s arrest this past March, , violated the terms of his previous McDonough County bail. The nickname "Orland Ghost Rider" has shadowed him in Cook County court because of videos he was linked to on YouTube which depict a motorhead outmaneuvering squad cars.
He was picked up recently on a new McDonough County warrant, and a judge reset bail at $100,000.
At the start of trial, Jachimiec had been facing as many as 13 years in prison, though the charges were also probationable. He was convicted of underage consumption, a Class A misdemeanor, and fined $4,000 in court and public defender costs and sentenced to 120 days in jail—only 60 of which he needs to serve given that the time has been served in one stretch.
Because of the 53 days he has already sat in jail, he was credited for $265 and will be released next week, Carter said.
The onus is also on Jachimiec to find a mental health doctor in 60 days and complete sessions in six months. This was entirely the judge’s decision, Carter said, and neither he nor McDonough County assistant state's attorney Kenneth Wang would comment on it.
As for the felony fleeing and eluding charges dogging Jachimiec in Cook County, .